As you might guess, the legal protection for non-traditional relationships and non-nuclear families is insanely slow to progress. That’s why people like Diana Adams are so important. They dedicate themselves to fight for the rights of folks that may live outside your view. Diane founded her own law firm that’s focused on same-sex couples, non-nuclear relationships and families. She is very, passionately dedicated to helping form healthy, stable families no matter the love construct. Whether that’s co-parenting, polyamorous families, different same sex configurations— there’s all kinds of ways that love and families come together. In this episode, you’ll hear her talk about some very poignant and personal examples.
We crave belonging. As crazy-distracting and decisive as the world is, it’s easy to forget this simple fact. Deep down we want to be accepted and feel part of a tribe. I had an amazing opportunity to dig into what it takes to connect to very different groups by talking to someone who has done the extreme version of this. Bruce Parry had travelled to some of the most remote places on planet Earth and inserted himself into wildly foreign communities. For some of these tribes, meeting him was “first contact” of any outsider not part of their tribe. Imagine making connection with groups of people where you don’t speak their language, look very different, don’t eat their food or wear their clothes. How would you do it? What could you learn about yourself by making those connections?
Way outside our cities and towns are societies of disappearing and endangered indigenous people . Some of us may think that’s natural— it’s been happening forever. Others fight to protect those cultures and have very strong opinions about what’s right and what’s wrong for those people.
One of those opinions is whether there’s a “right way” to depict people who are different than us— who are not living in urbanized or Western societies. I was surprised by just how controversial this subject really was. I guess it’s ok that we’re surrounded by spectacular images that romanticize cars, sports, and marriage. Really anything commercial— but to apply a similar heroic lens to people who are different than us, well, that could be sacrilege. It seems there are people out there who believe that the only way to photograph those folks needs to be as an anthropological documentarian— capturing people only how they’re actually living vs in their Sunday best— proud, celebrated, glamorized.
Just take a moment and ask yourself, “does my life seem gripped by an assembly line of chores which, as the years go on, create an undertow of sameness?” When you look back and curate your life story, how many exceptional experiences have you had? In western culture it’s not okay to embrace the things that don’t fit neatly into acceptable boxes, we’re meant only to be distracted and addicted with the things that fuel our capitalistic machine. But that’s not the way it is around the world. For some it’s more unusual not to have had out-of-body experiences, not to have communed with the dead, not to completely lose your identity. It’s experiences like those that add dimensionality, texture and deeper understanding to our lives. They can be sprung from the deep recesses of our brains, whether we’re asleep or whether we participate in rituals that release them.
Imagine having truly a complete picture of humanity, having spent a lifetime experiencing hundreds of world cultures first hand, face-to-face and welcomed by each one of them. The result would be an extraordinary vocabulary of the human spirit like no other. A celebration of our differences brought to life through an enormous voice, studded with the poetry of each unique cultural experience. Wouldn’t that voice be more important to listen to than anything else you can imagine? As giant Capitalistic cultures continue to assimilate and stamp out human diversity faster than all endangered species combined, and as these giants collide and become increasingly more homogenous— never has it been more important to step back and seek to understand and respect different people. To nearsightedly continue means irreversibly harming the treasure of human diversity.
Lately there’s a lot that’s been published about the lack of diversity within the Silicon Valley tech community which have been generally populated by a lot of young, white guys and for the most part, still are. So, I was excited to have Anne Bonaparte on the show. I invited her about 8 months ago to come in and chat a little bit about being a mid-stage CEO not just because she's a woman not in her 20s, but really just because she’s outstanding at her job and understands how diversity can come from all sorts of places. Anne’s point of view about how to create healthy conflict at the workplace, and a productive, diverse environment for growth couldn’t be more true today then it was when we chatted eight months ago.